‘Stand in the
Sand’ fundraiser was another celebration of access
By IRENE NOLAN
field at the Fessenden Center in Buxton never looked more festive than
it did on Saturday, June 14, for the first annual “Stand in
the Sand” event to raise funds to support free and open beach
green of the grass on the field was enhanced by the contrast to the
Carolina blue skies and the white tents, small and large, that lined
the perimeter. A large tent in the middle of the field
covered the tables and chairs, set up for the folks who came to eat
barbecue and visit with friends and neighbors.
white, and blue balloons in big bunches fluttered in the breeze atop
the light poles on the field.
big, white tent covered the food area, where a small army of volunteers
dished out pork and chicken barbecue and side dishes that included
baked beans, coleslaw, green beans, new potatoes, and macaroni and
cheese. One end of the tent housed the bake sale. Those table
were covered with cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, and dessert bars
– all prepared by island bakers.
day was warm with temperatures in the 80s, but a cooling breeze helped
keep folks under the tents cool. Out in the sun, it was
music continued all day from a shaded stage, where the musicians
included Honest Bill Crook, Chicamacomico, Blistered, Jones Potion, and
Peer Pressure. They all donated their services.
event was billed as a fundraiser for the Cape Hatteras Preservation
Alliance (CHAPA), an umbrella organization of beach access groups, such
as the Outer Banks Preservation Association (OBPA), the Cape Hatteras
Anglers Club, and the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association (NCBBA),
that came together to raise money for legal fees and other expenses for
the effort to keep the beaches open.
man who conceived the event and was the chief organizer, Rob Alderman,
reported that “Stand in the Sand” raised about
$16,500 for CHAPA through the sales of barbecue dinners, baked goods,
T-shirts, tickets for games and a raffle, and donations.
no official count of how many islanders and visitors wandered through
the ball field during the afternoon. It’s safe to
say there were more than 1,000 – and the count could be twice
were islanders who came to voice their opposition to the consent decree
and increased closures while they dined on great food and talked with
neighbors. However, several hundred visitors also heard about
the event and decided to join in.
them were Carolyn and Mike Bick of Norwalk, Ohio, and their twin sons,
11-year-old Chris and Alex. The Bicks were planning at week
at her mother’s cottage in Avon, but would not have arrived
until Saturday evening. Once they found out about the
barbecue, they drove all night Friday night to be there.
Bick’s company, Maple City Rubber, donated the hundreds of
balloons that adorned the ball field from high and low places.
started planning the “Stand in the Sand,” back in
the spring, when environmental groups were asking for an injunction to
close four popular areas of the seashore year-round, including Bodie
Island Spit, Cape Point and South Beach, Hatteras Inlet spit, and the
South Point of Ocracoke.
months since Alderman first hatched his plan have been eventful ones
for the beach access issue. A consent decree was signed by a federal
judge on April 30 to settle the lawsuit by the groups. Since
then, there have been unprecedented closings of seashore beaches,
including Cape Point, the most famous surf fishing spot on the East
fundraiser was intended to make a statement on beach access by critics
of the consent decree – even to protest this year’s
large closures on the seashore.
it turned out to be a much more upbeat afternoon, almost a celebration,
after North Carolina’s U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard
Burr and U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, Jr., introduced legislation in the
House and Senate on June 11 to set aside the consent decree and return
the management of the seashore to the National Park Service’s
interim strategy for managing park resources and off-road vehicles
until there is a long-term plan.
goal of the event was education on the beach access issue, and under
tents, groups, such as the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, NCBBA, and OBPA,
handed out cards and sheets of information about contacting elected
officials to support the legislation.
more tents, local artists and craftspeople displayed their work, along
with notices that a percentage of their sales would benefit CHAPA. Across
the field from the information and artists’ tents were games
– for the young and old – and pony rides, provided
by Sylvia Mattingly of Equine Adventures. The pony rides were popular
with the youngsters, as was the moon walk and the fish pond, where they
cast a line for prizes.
most popular was the dunking booth. If you tossed your ball and hit a
target, the volunteer in the chair was dumped into a tank of
water. A number of folks sat in the chair, but none got more
attention than Alderman, who outfitted himself for the dunk in a grass
skirt, coconut shell bra over his shirt, and a bright Hawaiian lei.
is also known to his Internet and cable television fans as the
“general” of the Hatteras Island Fishing Militia
(www.fishmilitia.com) and the host of a popular TV show, “The
Outer Banks Angler.”
was indeed the general on Saturday. He was everywhere
– from sunup to sundown. Early in the morning, he
was helping to set up games and tents and just before the sunset, he
and a couple other volunteers were using a chainsaw to dismantle the
stage. He left to run errands and then returned to shout out
more instructions to his large force of volunteers – about 75
to 80 of them, he figures. The volunteers cooked and baked
and barbecued and served. They ran the games and the raffle,
ran errands, sold tickets, answered questions, and set up and knocked
down the tents and tables.
Murray of Frisco was a “major” in
Alderman’s volunteer army.
volunteers, including quite a few off-islanders whom I had never met
before worked so very hard,” Murray said. “I filled
in on the food line to give them a break to eat or rest but most just
kept on going. I can't thank them enough for all that they
did. There's no way I can name each and everyone, but they were some
super awesome people. Many worked 12 hours."
recalled several special moments from the day.
she was handing out drinks, a man from Richmond, Va., passed by and
donated five gallons of mint tea, along with cups.
didn't get his name,” Murray said, “but let me tell
you that it was the best tea I have ever tasted. I had three cups. What
super folks to do that and donate that for us.” One
of the donations that touched Murray the most was a cake for the bake
sale that was made by Skippie Frisby of Buxton.
almost 86 and blind but a steadfast believer in the cause, and she made
the most awesome lemon cake. It had the sand and the sea and
the sky with a special message, 'IF UNITED WE STAND, THEN UNITED WE
PREVAIL.' The cover over the cake had two red-white-and blue
pinwheels going full speed.” She
also remembers a moment from the end of the event.
I was cleaning up, I saw the cutest kid with icing smeared over his
face, but the coolest thing was the balloon that was attached to his
sandals. I was about to pull that balloon when I realized it was tied
to his foot!”
Alderman spent Sunday tallying up the funds that the event raised and
tying up some loose ends. His voice was so hoarse, he could
barely talk on the phone, which some folks noted wasn’t an
altogether bad thing.
noted that he could never list all of the businesses, islanders, and
off-islanders who contributed to the event, volunteered, and donated.
did, though, want to single out Johnny Conner of Conner’s
Supermarket in Buxton, which donated much of the food, along with
equipment and other supplies. Alderman noted that Conner was
at the field from early morning until late evening and that he
“could outwork any three 20-year-olds.”
Many businesses on and off Hatteras Island contributed to the event. The major
contributors included Conner’s Supermarket, Pepsi, Outer Banks Motel, Metro
Rentals, Hatteras Realty, Outer Beaches Realty, Midgett Realty, The Inn on
Pamlico Sound, Herbie Lures, Finnegan’s Dining Haul, Ocean Atlantic Rentals, East
Carolina Radio, and Dare Building.
Slide show produced by Rob Alderman
Photos by Don Bowers (with contributions from Rob Alderman and Holly